Friday, October 13, 2023

Book Review: The Writing on the Wall

When I tell you that I haven't felt well and have slept through most of this week, that's no joke. Doing something like eating breakfast was exhausting, so I'd take a nap well into the afternoon and barely make it until my bedtime, which is normally 10. Then I'd sleep all the way through the night like I've never slept before. I feel generally run down and crappy, so I don't know if my body is fighting something off or I have something else going on. Regardless, it is annoying and I am so behind in everything. 

The Writing on the Wall - Marilyn Howard

This timely and entertaining memoir about a woman entrepreneur explores existing challenges and her winning strategies to conquer and succeed in the 1970s and today. The author portrays her youthful travel adventures, harrowing legal battles and romantic surprises. Her route winds around a semester in Italy, breaking through a glass ceiling as art director at an advertising agency, skiing in Aspen, wandering through Mexico, working in Hawaii and enjoying group houses in the Hamptons before beginning her startup and family. New territory was charted in 1970 with the founding of Creative Freelancers Inc., the first central agency for freelance commercial artists and writers. It operated in Manhattan for over 25 years and in 1997 it was the first agency on the web. A late marriage to an older, sophisticated New York man made her a mother to two of her own children and three surprise stepdaughters. Finding herself with a family needing support and great business potential, she was pressured to make the business grow. Events converge and uncanny predictions come true.
A fascinating look at how the author became an entrepreneur and all of the successes (and failures) since the very beginning. I'm not sure if its sad or reassuring that things have been remarkably the same but also very different. Yay for consistency? 

One thing I could really relate to was her journey into motherhood while maintaining a career. A man is never asked if he plans to stay home with the baby, its just assumed a woman would give up her career once the baby is born. For this reason alone this book is such an encouraging read for any new mother, whether she stays home or not, because it is so easy to lose your identity to motherhood and we are so much more than that. Just because we become a mother doesn't mean we give up all of our interests and ambitions, we just have to adjust and make room for all of it. I could relate to the struggles of a baby who was a lot, both my first and third baby were a lot. A lot, a lot, and I remember crying many times because I just didn't know how to take care of them. I really felt like I was failing. I was good at so much but why can't I be good at this? Needless to say, I wish I had a Vi. (Vi is a nanny of sorts, a woman of many talents.) I loved her description of the different stages of parenting, and I feel like I'm in all of them at once right now! She offers helpful advice and a new perspective on parenting I hadn't yet considered. 

Highly motivating, this is a positive and encouraging book for women, and teach you how to say no and when to say yes. It's great for career focused women, parenting/family focused women, and the women who are going to do it all. No matter which path you take, Marilyn Howard assures you that its the best path for you and that you've got this. 

Thank you to WOW! Women on Writing and author Marilyn Howard for having me on this tour and providing a copy for review! All opinions are my own. 

Friday, October 6, 2023

The Summer of Concerts

I feel like I went to almost all of the big concerts that came near us this summer. I missed Pink, and I'm sad about that because she's great live, but concerts are expensive and you just can't do them all. I still have the Eagles to see in November, and Aerosmith but that's pushed back to 2024 and honestly, I don't hate that. I am kind of concert'ed out.  

In....I don't even know, maybe August, I say The Lumineers with Olivia and her friends. I hadn't ever seen them live and I know a few of their songs, so I was pretty sure I'd have a good time. Can we talk about the ridiculous road construction in Somerset, Wisconsin? It's terrible. They have little to no detours so you're just left to figure it out yourself. I also remembered I hate festival parking. I hadn't been to Somerset in YEARS and I forgot you park in a field. During the day time it isn't a big deal because you can see where you are. At night though, you can't find your car and you realize all of your land marker clues are useless because it looks the same no matter where you are in the field. The great news is my car has distinctive lights and a horn that doesn't sound like everyone elses, otherwise we would have had to wait until the majority of cars left. 

I also forgot how much have 300+ cars trying to get out of one exit when at least half are drunk or at least partially impaired sucks. It is an absolute free for all and you're forced to play chicken with everyone around you. You also have to have stellar peripheral vision because at least one Subaru barreling through the crowd will narrowly miss hitting you. 

Despite parking and driving shenanigans, it was a really good concert. It was perfect weather, a totally clear night, and quite possibly, the most perfect night to have an outdoor concert. 
I also discovered I absolutely love the Lumineers and didn't even know it. They sang all of the things I knew, Olivia and her friends had an absolutely great time. 
Thank god the drive home was much less eventful once I got out of the damn parking lot. It was a late night and it took me a few days to recover. I'm not in my 20s anymore. Sadly. 
In September, Matt and I went to the Twin Cities to see Old Dominion. These tickets were super cheap, for great seats, so I figured a date night was in order. 
Our old asses ended up leaving early because its a two and half hour drive home. It was fine, we still got a bunch of hours to hang out without kids. Shout out to Cass for holding down the fort when we were gone. 
Oh! Let me just say I left the concert absolutely loving "Priscilla like Presley, Block like Party" because she was such a fun time. She has a great live voice and her stage personna was so much fun. 
The last of the summer concerts was 50 Cent, which I was a reluctant attendee. I didn't plan on going to this but a last minute in who was going, but it worked out just fine. Busta Rhymes was the opener and he talked far too much and seemingly did cocaine while on stage. Not even slick about it, and then starts talking about his 15 year old son in attendance. Which, stellar parenting. *eye roll* 

I wasn't sure what to expect with 50 Cent but you know what? He was GREAT. I have all of his albums so I knew all the songs, he sounded great, he looked great, it was a super fun night. 
We left before the last song so we could get ahead of traffic and not get stuck in the parking ramp, and the drive home was pretty uneventful and just fine. I felt good and didn't feel like death the next day, so that was really nice. 

The last concert of the year is The Eagles, and that one is with Jackson, and I won't even tell you how much those tickets cost. Lets just say I would never, but Jackson had money, he loves this band, and it is their farewell tour and he had real FOMO. That concert isn't until November though, so I've got time to pregame it.